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Sorghum Production
Producing Sweet Sorghum and Syrup DVD
Order this University of Kentucky produced DVD which reviews all aspects of producing a sweet sorghum crop. It includes tips on variety selection, planting site requirements, transplants vs seeding, fertilization, harvesting techniques, and syrup processing alternatives.
 
Book - The American Cane Mill
A history of the machinery, the manufacturers, sugar cane and sorghum by Don Howard Dean.  Now available from Mrs. Carol Dean, 904 Eldorado Dr., Dothan AL  36303.  Send her a check for $50.

Research Report
Early Deheading of Sweet Sorghum, by Morris Bitzer, University of Kentucky

Several producers have asked about early deheading of sorghum prior to maturity. Early deheading will increase the level of sugar in the juice at harvest and reduce the chance of severe lodging from winds. The proper stage to dehead is critical as many new branches will form on top of the plant about 2 weeks after deheading and produce more seed. The head should be cut off at least below the top node. The best stage of maturity to start deheading is when the seed is in the Late Milk Stage. This is about 2.5 weeks before the stage for harvesting. Research showed that the Brix reading (sugar level) is lower when the heads are removed at a later stage of maturity.

Following was the average Brix levels at harvest when deheaded at the following stages: Bloom - 18.4
Early Seed - 19.4
Milk Stage - 18.4
Soft Dough - 16.7
Hard Dough - 14.6

Sources of Sorghum Information and References Publications
(Note: USDA publications are out of print.):

         http://www.uky.edu/Ag/GrainCrops/Sweetsorghum.htm 
                                                                                                                                                          -   Sorghum Sirup Manufacture, Bulletin 135 by A.A. Denton, USDA. 1901  
     -   Sorgo Sirup Manufacture, Bulletin 1389, USDA 
     -   Farm Production of Sorgo Sirup Bulletin, USDA, March 1933
     -   An Evaluation of Sorghum Syrup Processing Operations in Tennessee.
         Res. Rpt. 85-01, Univ. of Tennessee, Feb. 1985.
     -   Sweet Sorghum Culture and Sirup Production. USDA, Agriculture 
         Handbook 611, May 1986.
     -   Production of Sweet Sorghum for Syrup in Kentucky, AGR-122, Univ. of 
         Kentucky, Feb. 1987.
     -   Processing Sweet Sorghum for Syrup. AGR-123, Univ. of Kentucky,
         Sept. 1987.
     -   Sweet Sorghum Production and Processing, The Kerr Center for 
         Sustainable Agriculture, Inc., Poteau, OK, June 1992.
     -   Growing Sweet Sorghum for Syrup. AGECON 99-055, Univ. of
         Georgia, March 1999.                                 

Videos:
University of Tennessee
-1997 Sorghum Series: #3 Victor Stoll
-1997 Sorghum Series: Sorghum Festival Demo
-1997 Sorghum Tour: Latch-HOST
-1996 A Tour of Three Sorghum Producers
-Selling Sweet Sorghum: A Marketing Video
University of Kentucky
-Sweet Sorghum Production, VAG-0736

Sources of Sorghum Seed

  • Sorghum seed of varieties Dale, Topper 76-6, M81E, and Sugar Drip. Danny Townsend, 859/498-4142 or e-mail: sorghumsyrup@lycos.com   

 

Invertase Enzyme
If you are having trouble with some of your sorghum turning to sugar, you need to get some invertase enzyme and add it after you have heated it up.
 
Contact:
James Baier
P.O. Box 1356
Cookeville, TN 38503-1356
931-644-7764
nssppa@charter.net  

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